‘Wild Wild Country’: 8 Things About Ma Anand Sheela You Must Know
Ma Anand Sheela has finally come out and spoken about her role as Osho’s secretary.
Netflix’s new release ‘Wild Wild Country’ is gaining traction like United States’ wildland fires, slowly catching on and burning everyone with it. But this time around it’s all about the divided opinion and how. Three episodes into the first season of ‘Wild Wild Country’, and you’ll have jumped parties a thousand times, scratching your head and body over who is right and who isn’t.
Whether you like this show or not – one thing is for sure – you will definitely have something to say about one of the central characters of the show – Ma Anand Sheela.
So, before you jump in to watch a chunky season of ‘Wild Wild Country’, here are some things you must know about the self-styled Bhagwan Rajneesh’s closest aide.
1. Sheela Convinced Bhagwan Rajneesh to Leave India
Sheela became Bhagwan Rajneesh’s personal assistant in 1981, when she convinced him to move base to the United States. She bought 64,000 acres of land in Oregon. The city was named Rajneeshpuram.
2. Sheela Loved Bhagwan Rajneesh
In ‘Wild Wild Country’, Sheela says the first time she met Bhagwan Rajneesh and he touched her head she felt like the purpose of her life was complete. In an interview to India Today, she said she handled the entire ashram almost single-handedly so he could look good.
3. Sheela Was Accused of Making People Sick to Stop Them From Voting
It’s said that Sheela wanted to increase the influence of the ‘cult’ and tried to capture two open seats in the 1984 Wasco County elections by bringing in homeless people and others from outside Wasco County to ensure that they won. In what is now known as the Rajneeshee Bioterror Attack, she is said to have used bacteria and other methods to make others in the town ill to skew the voter percentage.
4. She Was Found Guilty of Wire-Tapping the Cult’s Ashram
After Sheela parted ways with Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted an investigation for over three months and confiscated thousands of cassettes, Los Angeles Times reported. In July 1985, Sheela pleaded guilty to wire-tapping the commune.
5. Sheela Was Sentenced to 20 Yrs of Jail, But Was Released in 29 Months
Not only wire-tapping, Ma Anand Sheela was jailed for other crimes too. These included conspiracy and assault against Judge Hulse and Commissioner Matthew of Wasco County. She was convicted for 20 years and fined $470,000, but she was released on parole in 29 months on account of her good behaviour.
6. She Called a News TV Anchor ‘Pimp’on His Show
The source of this interview is unknown but the clip shows that when Ma Anand Sheela was asked about prostitution being a monetary source for the cult, she lashed out at the presenter saying, “Good luck to you and your pimps”.
7. Her Robes and 5,000 Copies of ‘Book of Rajneeshism’ Were Set on Fire
Ma Anand Sheela didn’t have the calmest of fallouts with Rajneeshism. When she fled to Europe in 1985, she was accused of all sorts of crimes and not only that, Bhagwan Rajneesh asserted that she wrote a ‘Book of Rajneeshism’ and published it under his name. Post that, her red robes and 5,000 copies of the book were reportedly burned in resentment.
8. She Was Interviewed for Five Days for ‘Wild Wild Country’
In a recent interview to Firstpost, she said she doesn’t take updates on the Rajneesh program anymore and has distanced herself completely from the foundation she used to head once. When the Way Brothers – the makers of the show – requested for an interview with her for the documentary, her sisters were reluctant but Sheela agreed. She said it was her chance to articulate the reality about the cult.
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